For immediate release: Oct 16, 2009
Posted by: [Flu]
Contact: Jennifer Dunlap
Phone: (317) 233-7315

Media Update On 2009 H1N1 Influenza A

INDIANAPOLIS---State health officials today reported one resident of Morgan County and one resident of Tippecanoe County have died from H1N1 flu-related complications.  The Indiana State Department of Health will not be releasing any other information about the individuals for confidentiality reasons

 

To date, there have been seven H1N1 flu-related deaths in Indiana.  After this week, the Department will continue to report any flu-related deaths (H1N1 and seasonal flu) in the weekly flu activity report (available at: www.in.gov/flu), but will not be issuing news releases on each death. 

 

"My heart goes out to the families," said Joan Duwve, M.D., medical director for Public Health and Preparedness.   "It is a sad reality that H1N1 flu, just like any influenza, has the potential to cause severe illness and even death."

 

"I understand that news of deaths from H1N1 flu-related complications is going to make the public even more anxious to get the H1N1 flu vaccine, and we do wish we had enough of the vaccine for every Hoosier," said Dr. Duwve.  "We have placed orders for all of the H1N1 flu vaccine that has been allocated for Indiana and the local health departments are working hard to get vaccine out to the public as soon as possible."

 

Dr. Duwve reminds Hoosiers that something everyone can do to help prevent the spread of influenza is to Clean, Cover, Contain: Clean your hands thoroughly and frequently, Cover your cough and sneeze, and Contain your germs by staying home if sick. 

 

In addition, Dr. Duwve recommends getting the seasonal flu vaccine.  The seasonal flu vaccine does not protect against the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus, but the seasonal flu is also circulating in Indiana.  People can find seasonal flu vaccine by checking the American Lung Association Web site: www.flucliniclocator.org.  Again, this is only for seasonal flu vaccine.

 

"I know it is hard, but we are asking the public to be patient as we all eagerly await more H1N1 flu vaccine being produced and sent to the states," said Dr. Duwve.  "We still only have very limited quantities of the H1N1 flu vaccine going to the local health departments.  Many are only able to target small numbers of the high-risk groups.  As more vaccine continues to come to Indiana, they will be able to move forward with plans to get all high-risk individuals vaccinated, and eventually, anyone who wants the H1N1 vaccine."

State health officials say the H1N1 flu vaccine did start arriving a little ahead of when predicted, and Indiana was one of the first states in the nation to start vaccinating.  However, because the initial supply of the H1N1 flu vaccine was less than originally anticipated, many local health departments have had to change or hold off on their H1N1 flu vaccination plans.   In addition, each local health department is getting different numbers of doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine, based on population.

 

"No one vaccination plan is right for all of Indiana's communities, which is why each local health department is determining what is best for their residents, while working with the difficult situation of demand for the vaccine exceeding supply right now," said Dr. Duwve.

 

As information on H1N1 flu vaccine becomes available, the Indiana State Department of Health will post that information at: www.in.gov/flu.  Hoosiers without Internet access should continue to monitor their local news for updates on vaccine availability.

 

The Department will also be offering a toll-free hotline for the public to call for information on the H1N1 flu and its vaccine at: 1-877-826-0011 or TTY 1-888-561-0044.  It will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday-Friday. 

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